“Love one another as I have loved you.”
Nothing in love is ever forced
Only freely given.
I told him about the weird flashbacks.
We had a good forty-five minutes to talk. Some dear church members had given us an Applebees gift card for Pastor Appreciation month. Friday night seemed as good a time as any to use it. We chose to go west and take the scenic route into the city.
“Rebuke the depression with the Law and rejoice in the Gospel”, he says.
I stare straight ahead, letting his words sink in. I look to the right and to the left. Have I been looking at this all wrong? Is The Lonely Way the stormy road I’ve experienced it to be? Has my mind altered my circumstances or have circumstances altered my mind?
Depart from me, all you workers of evil
for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.
My husband is the voice of reason, the voice of truth, the voice of God given for me. His words are firmly set in place as a protection over the weaker vessel. I listen to him and know I needn’t know all the answers.
This I know–that God is for me.
“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.”
I leave the Lenten service early again.
The child departs kicking and screaming, thrashing his body against mine. My soul is limp, my spirit faint, my flesh extremely weak. I carry him into the dark, across the yard, past the cars, up the stairs, into the house.
Escaping my grip he turns and runs back out the door.
The words of saints haunt me.
“How do you do it?”
“I can’t imagine.”
“You mean you’re not perfect?”
I retrieve the child. The other ones remain in the house of God without me. I return to the parsonage, shut the door, and collapse into the chair.
I say to God, my rock:
“Why have you forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning
because of the oppression of the enemy?”
As with a deadly wound in my bones,
my adversaries taunt me,
while they say to me all the day long,
“Where is your God?”
Despair seizes the moment and poisons my mind. I fantasize of letting them all know, really know, how I do it, what they’ve done to me, what this life has done to me. I’ll stumble into the church, stand at the back in the midst of the assembly, and scream insanity at them all. Then they’d know.
But my husband–I don’t want to embarrass him.
So instead I cry alone.
“I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping.”
I think it would be good for me to write a little every day.
It doesn’t have to be much and it doesn’t necessarily have to be here. But in the same way it is good to eat my eggs and salmon for breakfast and take my vitamins in the morning, it is good for the mind to write this down.
For a while I was writing three hundred unpublished words a day merely as a “brain dump”. I really enjoyed that little bit of mind maintenance and exercise though the term brain dump doesn’t quite do it for me. If I think of something I like better I’ll write it down.
“You are my hiding place. You always fill my heart with songs of deliverance.”
Those are the words of a song I used to know. Sometimes songs just come to me like that. So I googled ‘you are my hiding place’ to figure out what Bible verse it comes from and Psalm 32:7 popped up.
“You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance.”
I’ll sip on that tonight.